Portugal | Ombudsman recommends urgent improvements in mental health and contacts with the outside

Following visits to educational centers, the Ombudsman, acting as the National Prevention Mechanism (MNP), addressed a recommendation to the Directorate-General for Reintegration and Prison Services (DGRSP) to overcome various identified shortcomings.

The recommendation of the Ombudsman, Maria Lúcia Amaral, urges the DGRSP to establish, in conjunction with the Health authorities, this year, a therapeutic unit for the treatment of acute cases diagnosed in the mental health field.

In addition, it is recommended to strengthen the contingent of specialized medical staff in the different educational centers, so that the diagnosis of more complex cases is processed more quickly.

It is also recommended to revise the contact rules in the next three months, in order to increase the frequency of the phone calls and their duration.

Mental health, especially when coupled with the reality of young people in detention, is an area that has received special attention from the NPM.

Following the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Ombudsman was given the responsibility to act as an independent National Mechanism for the Prevention of domestic torture.

It is the responsibility of the MNP to regularly examine the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in places of detention. The NPM also has the power to make recommendations to the competent authorities to improve the detected deficiencies or repair situations that are not compatible with the international obligations assumed by the Portuguese State.


Source: Provedor de Justica, Portugal

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